5 Ways to Cope with Stress
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For some, a new semester is a wonderful time to start off having new professors and new opportunities, which is why it’s best to start off stress-free. But for many, college is a stress bomb. Difficult classes, unhelpful professors, drama, financial situations, parties, drugs — it’s hard to keep calm all the time.
And if you can’t take my word for it, according to the American Psychological Association, the mental health of college students is a growing concern. Here’s some facts: almost 42 percent of college students suffer from anxiety. Depression places second at 36.4, and relationship issues affect 35.8 percent of the student population (APA, 2013). The stats were taken from the counseling directors from the Association for University and College Counseling Center.
Stress is great. It’s a hormone that reminds that you’re alive and kicking, but too much of everything is a bad thing. So, what’s a college student to do to manage their stress levels in college?
- Evaluate why you are doing what you are doing Why are you in college? Why are you pursuing a specific major? Why are you on a specific track? What is your motivation? The stress is worth it if you know your end goal and if you’re passionate for the end goal, but if you’re living a life your parents want you to, is it really, then? Taking out immense loans, getting little sleep, and bombing classes all for you family’s interest — is it worth it?
- Prepare, prepare, prepare If it is worth it, you need to prepare yourself. Say you’re taking one of the hardest classes in the school taught by the most selfish professor in the world. You can’t go in as a student acting the same way as you normally would. You have to be alert every class period and ready to ask questions. That class needs to be at top priority every day, even when you don’t have that class. That teacher’s office hours need to be ingrained on every note card, in every planner you own. Get prepared to get busy.
- Start journaling
If you’re one more sigh away from tearing up, struggling with social anxiety or just don’t know who to talk to or what to do, grab a notebook and write your feelings down. Write down all your responsibilities, all your ideas and all your stressors. You can write them all in pencil or switch it up with different medias.
Oh, and cry. Think of this whole process as a cleanse, so get it aallll out. Men and women. Cry.
- Eat better
When your mental health is struggling, the last thing you want to do is mess up your physical health by eating junk on top of junk. Unhealthy food consumption increases your chances of getting sick since they lack the nutrients to promote a healthy immune system.
Blueberries, cashews, and oranges are all said to have stress relieving properties according to Prevention.com. And if you’re craving some candy, dark chocolate can help reduce blood pressure.
Stick to a whole foods diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables. It’s said that apples and other fruits can help with stress relief.
Pretty sure most people who are stressed out aren’t getting enough sleep. According to APA, sleep deprivation can lead to muscle deterioration and memory loss. Wondering why you stayed up all night to study but can’t remember anything? Sleep is the answer. 7 to 9 hours of sleep is optimal, and is possible if you plan accordingly. Get some rest.